Welcome to the very first author Q&A post from Literary Edits! This is the start of a new series of blog posts; every week, we will be interviewing an author and asking them about their books, as well as what they enjoy about the writing process.
This week, we have interviewed L. M. Gose, the author of Ascend, a recently-published young adult fantasy novel. Read on to find out more about L. M. Gose and her books!
Q: It is my understanding that you write young adult fantasy books. What drew you to this particular genre?
A: YA Fantasy were some of my favourite loves as a child. I have always enjoyed the Harry Potter series along with countless others about werewolves or witches or vampires… It’s a great place to write about without having to worry about more adult themes but while still being able to create a world where challenging subjects are discussed.
Q: What is it like to write books aimed at young adults? Is there anything that you have to be aware of when you’re writing?
A: Writing for young adults is great. They’re the biggest audience but they’re also incredibly curious by nature. They still want to discover the world through another’s eyes… so when I write, I keep in mind how someone would perceive a scene. Writing about 16-year-old twins does help as it gives me the opportunity to allow youthful passion to challenge ancient and outdated thinking, like bigoted statements for example. One of my main characters challenges someone very ancient and powerful for his… less than progressive thoughts.
Q: I understand that one feature of Ascend is a diverse range of characters. Is this something that you feel quite strongly about?
A: The diversity in Ascend is so very important to me. I find it difficult to swallow when an author post-facto changes things about their characters, whether its race or sexuality, to show how progressive they are, instead of admitting that at the time they were less enlightened and wish they’d made these characters that way. Including characters from every racial background and every sexuality just seemed natural and organic for a supernatural world.
Q: Do you read many books yourself? If so, do you have any favourites?
A: It’s going to sound like I’m bragging but I’ve read about ten-thousand books in my life. As a child, I suffered from the hands of the adults around me, but I’d learned how to read so quickly that I devoured any and all books in my sight, including very inappropriate books for my age, like V. C. Andrews in sixth grade. Oh gosh, favourite books? There’s so many but one series I go back to time and time again, despite how often I’ve read it, is Jean Auel’s Earth’s People series. I have always loved that series. I’m still surprised it hasn’t been picked up by the CW.
Q: Have you been able to find much support for your writing? This could come from friends and family members or from online communities.
A: I have an army of women that supports me. When I began to write again, after a hiatus from a move… or two, and a baby… or two, I turned to my friends. The first was my best friend, Jill, and she encouraged me the most to keep going. She’s been the most incredible and patient friend to have during this whole process. She read every single page, every single version, without complaint and knew exactly how to get me over every road block. Everyone should have their own Jill. Also, the #WritingCommunity on Twitter is a pretty powerful community. They will unite behind you once they know you’re trying to inspire the world with your words. They’re amazing.
Q: Is there a particular element of writing that you enjoy more than others? For example, do you enjoy planning out your stories? Or do you enjoy immersing yourself in a fictional world?
A: Writing is an incredible process. I love every moment except the self-doubt, but if I had to choose I’d say writing my character descriptions in the book was my favourite part. Being able to fully flesh out these people is truly one of the most fun parts. I loved working with my BETA group during this time because they are so helpful, from their own diverse backgrounds and give me their perspectives on each character from their looks to their personalities.
Q: In the future, do you plan on writing more fantasy stories? Or might you consider experimenting with other genres?
A: I am already working on the sequel to Ascend, which is called Descend, that I’m hoping to publish by Spring 2020. However, I also have two other novels in progress. One is a science-fiction space odyssey and the other is a novel loosely based on my life. I love all genres, although I rarely read romance novels. I always feel terrible about this because a lot of indie writers I know personally are romance novelists, and they’re so talented.
Q: Can you tell us anything more about the writing projects that you’re working on at the moment?
A: I just did. Oops! Descend is the continuing saga of Xavier and Arya as they flee for their lives! I’m afraid to say more than that or I’ll spoil Ascend for you!
Q: Do you have any writing advice that you wish to share with other writers?
A: Advice? Well, this is tough. I’m not an expert, by any means, but I think one great tip is: if you struggle with your characters and how they would interact with each other, imagine them interacting with a character from your favourite movie or TV show, even book or graphic novel. It helps you answer some questions, possibly even inspiring your characters themselves to greater heights.
Q: Finally, can you give us a brief introduction to Ascend? What is it about?
A: Spoilers – Ascend is about faternal twins Xavier and Arya and the terrible truth that what they’ve always known is nothing but a dream. Their mother isn’t just a renowned surgeon, she’s Lilith of Legend; and, on the eve of their sixteenth birthday, their mother confesses to them that she is the Goddess’s first creation, the first witch, and that their father is Lucifer Morningstar, the Devil himself. Follow the twins as they ascend into their birthright and discover a world their mother kept hidden from them. First stop? The Academy of the Night, the new boarding school for witches, warlocks, werewolves and who knows what else! Find out now by reading Ascend!
We’re very grateful that L. M. Gose took the time to feature in an author Q&A with us, particularly as this is first author interview that she has ever been involved in! Show your support for her by checking out her books, or visiting her on social media! In the meantime, we’ll be back next week with another author Q&A!
You can find out more about Ascend by following any of these links: